Monday, January 11, 2010

Sad regrets, lesson learned

Once upon a time.

I was a pretty lonely person at about the time I graduated from high school. My brother had some new friends, so once I followed him and invited myself along on their adventures. I was that lonely.

Well, eventually, one moved away, and one went somewhere else, and then it was just me and one person. It was a guy. Traditionally, I get along better with guys so I didn't think much of it. We went and did stuff, talked on the phone, just the same as when it had been all of us. My mom started calling him my boyfriend. It didn't feel like that to me, but I left it alone. One day he said he was breaking up with me. OK. I didn't know we were 'together' in order to 'break up.' But, whatever, OK.

So, now I'm off to find new friends again.

After a few months and some other odd adventures, I received a note from him. He said he thought it would be a good thing for me to be his wife. So, we got married. I thought I had my friend back. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I waited. We made decisions I thought would make us closer. I was hoping my friend would come back. We moved. We got jobs working together. Sometimes, just because, we even got matching outfits, like old married people, or people who come to look like their pets. Initially, people thought it was sweet that we were that close. After a while, they could tell proximity didn't mean 'together'. A few wondered about that, but even fewer were concerned enough to say anything about it.

I thought it was my fault, that I wasn't enough something. I tried to be a wife, or at the very least, a friend. It's tough when you are working at it by yourself, or working for one thing when the rest of the team is working on something else. There was a statistic I heard the other day, that said, Men love women the way they are, and get upset when they change. Women expect their men to change and get upset when they don't. That's very true here: I tried to change to make myself something he would love. He never did.

I thought when we had our daughter that we both would become different people. That may sound like what some people say 'I thought I could change him' but what I thought was I would be whatever it was that was lovable, because clearly at this point I was not.

I tried for a long time. After a while, I realized I was the only one fighting, so I quit. With nothing else to motivate me in life and no reason to live, I gave up and walked away. I thought he would come for me. After three years, he came to bring me papers to dissolve every connection we had.

Except one. She hated me. I'm not sure now why, I thought at the time it was because I had made a change in her life that didn't look pretty, I'd made a scene. That may still be the reason. I think she blames me for the 'ripping apart her family' part as far as the cause, but now I think she smart enough that she knows that a lot of the ripping wasn't me.

What I regret now is still the loss of so much time, my history, the connections of twenty-five years. In my opinion, I was naive, and for that I was wrong. He has some blame too. I don't care about that. What I care about is the cruelness it places on her. As an only child, she's the only one to bear whatever comes with 'in-law' territory. It doesn't have to be a negative connotation, but in the expected way of things, people seem to think they have to hate. I never felt that, but apparently I'm alone. I have always asked that she be respectful of whatever family she has contact with, she doesn't have to stop loving anybody. They, however, make it hard on her by looking to place all the blame and shame on me, and tried to turn her heart. I'm not sure that they will ever be totally successful with that plan, but there are days when I don't hear from her that I think they might. She is all I have to show for that whole adventure. That must be a burden on her too.

I think that whole experience has made me very aware of what it feels like to be loved now. I hardly have to do a thing and he is grateful for what I have done. He attempts to take care of me. I'm not only loved but cherished. And so much more.

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